The debate on how individual workers effectively replace teamwork was popular during the pandemic. Consequently, the need for non-essential employees to work from home triggered telecommuting software installation in homes.
In order to assess how employees who work from home become productive, five factors will be examined. First, is the impact of the pandemic on individual workers and teamwork. Second, positive and negative aspects of working from home. Third, reasons why and how individual workers effectively replace teamwork. Fourth, is the emergence and importance of the ‘lone wolf’ phenomenon. Fifth is the prospect of individual workers versus teamwork in a post-pandemic workplace.
Impact Of The Pandemic On Individual Workers And Teamwork
The global COVID-19 pandemic led to several safety protocols to curb the spread and prevent infection. The most challenging instructions are the lockdown, stay-at-home, and work-from-home for non-essential workers.
The work-from-home strategy disrupted collaborative office teamwork. Although video conferencing provided a sense of team spirit, task pace was still determined individually. As a result, individual decisions seem to replace office teamwork collaboration.
Positive And Negative Aspects of Working From Home
There are two major positive aspects of working from home. First, working from home gives employees the opportunity to be more single-minded in their work tasks due to lesser interruptions. Second, workers have greater discretion on how and when they can finish a task. This increases flexibility, effort, job autonomy, and productivity.
Alongside the positive aspects are two negatives. First, is lesser control by colleagues or the supervisor. This promotes work avoidance and fewer report on mistakes. Second, there is social and professional isolation from working at home. This reduces interpersonal networking and informal learning from colleagues and supervisors.
Reasons Why And How Individual Workers Effectively Replace Teamwork
Many jobs don’t need team players to succeed
Many years of research show that individuals always perform better than groups in both quality and quantity. Likewise, as group size gets bigger, so do group brainstorming exercises become ineffective. In any case, people in groups tend to sit back and let others do the work. In the end, under peer pressure, they dump their personal opinions, and tag along with group suggestions.
Cost savings and monetary compensation
Many businesses have saved costs from their employees working from home. Particularly in areas like rent and utilities, cleaning services, cafeteria, taxes, and payroll costs. But, there are new costs of video conference software, and other tools, needed to work effectively from home.
So, many organisations provide employees with stipends to buy new home office equipment. Others see the benefits of diverting moving cost savings into the pockets of individual workers. For instance, companies that provided free lunches gave employees weekly credit for food while working from home. Similarly, several companies are able to provide childcare assistance to parents who need it.
Influence of communication technology
The number of firms supporting work-from-home rose intensely as communication technology changed the way people collaborate. However, there is a growing impact of technology on physical and mental health. This is because the stay‐at‐home strategy lacks a clear transition between work and leisure. This having been said, a viable solution is to increase positive coping during the COVID‐19 pandemic. This means, being aware of the likely harmful effects of technology use. And putting measures in place to prevent burnout.
The Emergence And Importance Of The ‘Lone Wolf’ Phenomenon
In pre-pandemic times, many workers worked in teams in open offices. Solitude was outdated. Individual geniuses were out. Teamwork was in. However, the pandemic changed all that. The pandemic came and attached importance to the emergence of the ‘lone wolf’ (working alone) phenomenon. In essence, the pandemic gave the individual worker a platform to exercise freedom in work initiatives.
Thus, being a lone wolf is a useful state of being that can boost the individual worker’s performance. Therefore, most companies want to keep people who can work alone effectively and take responsibility for their mistakes. And let go of team players who can’t function independently.
Prospects Of Individual Workers Post-Pandemic Workplace
Before the pandemic, working from home was unrealistic for many companies. Now, today’s technology makes it easier to do the transition. Notwithstanding every business is unique. So, prior to a decision, it’s crucial to evaluate the benefits and problems as they apply to your specific business. The fact is that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought work from home to the forefront of employees’ interest. Therefore a good idea to decide if it’s realistic for your business post-pandemic.
The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted work, lives, jobs, and relationships. Yet, companies are fighting back against the virus by choosing innovative ways to run businesses. And globally, companies have embraced work from home as a permanent solution for their employees’ post-pandemic.
Finally, working from home is not only here to stay but also getting more popular than ever. This is what most people want to do. And the good news is that technology is there to help them do it effectively and efficiently. To sum up, working from home has shown how individual workers effectively replace teamwork. Also perhaps,
“Sometimes, “collaboration” is just another word for shared incompetence”Jennifer Dziura, Founder of GetBullish and the Bullish Conference
Photo Credit: Creative Commons